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Yemen Moves to Allow Private Radio

Ministerial consultations ongoing, but interest in licenses is heard

The Arabian peninsula nation of Yemen is considering allowing private radio and television operations. Legislation is being discussed among ministers and is expected to be put to the country’s parliament this year.

Minister of Information Hassan al-Lawzi told Yemen Observer that although discussions are ongoing, “We [have] received several applications for running FM radio stations.”

The law foresees potential operators being vetted before they are allowed to begin operations. Two vetting procedures are under consideration, al-Lawzi said. Either applications would be made to the Ministry of Information, which would screen applications before passing them along for consideration by the cabinet, or the vetting would be handled by a panel drawn from several ministries and the private sector.

Also yet to be determined is how large of a fee will be required for a broadcasting concession.

Currently, the state-run Yemen General Corp. for Radio & TV (??????? ?????? ??????? ??????? ??????????) operates two nation-wide stations on long-, short- and medium wave, as well as FM, from Sana’a and Aden, as well as 15 provincial stations across the country.